by Matthew Bin

Book Cover: Unrest Among the Smart Cows

A government inspector is sent to examine a dairy facility housing "smart cows", cattle that are genetically modified to enable them to communicate with humans. After seeing the run-down farm and its two horrible keepers, he thinks something must be wrong. But only a furtive—and inspiring—meeting with one of the cows tells him the farm's ugly secret.


I parked my big white van diagonally in front of Unit 234’s office door, making sure to kick up a sizeable cloud of dust and gravel as I slid to a halt. I had no reason, strictly speaking, to sign out a van, since all I was bringing was a clipboard. But I had learned in my time that the inspections were a lot easier—especially the first time I showed up at a place—when I acted like a jerk.

I threw the flimsy office door open and stepped quickly through, allowing it to bounce off the outside wall and slam closed behind me. A good entrance. There were two desks in the room, both manned by portly, sunburnt farmhands in sweat-stained t-shirts, their regulation overalls unzipped to their waists and dangling behind them. They both stood leapt up.

“Who’re you?” one of them grunted.

I smiled and fished around in my jacket for my badge. I found it and flipped it open. “Inspector Carville. It’s your semi-annual today.”


I was looking only at the one who had spoken, but I knew they were exchanging meaningful glances around me.

One of the lunks pointed two-thirds of an index finger at the other. “Hank ’ll take you around.”

I turned to the other man. “You’re sure? I don’t mind showing myself—”

I stopped when he produced a shotgun from somewhere under his desk. He sniggered. “For your p’tection,” he drawled.


About the Author

Matthew Bin is a novelist and nonfiction writer with more than twenty years’ experience as a professional writer, producing technical documentation, marketing copy, and other business communications. He is also an IT consultant, a Canadian football journalist, a licensed humanist marriage officiant, in addition to being a bass player and backup shouter in a punk rock band. He lives in Oakville, Ontario.